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The Only Lasting Treasure We Can Store Up Is In Heaven

In 1956 Jacques Lowe photographed Robert F. Kennedy. Kennedy's father, Joseph, was so impressed with Lowe that he asked him to photograph John F. Kennedy and his wife. Three years later, Lowe became the official photographer of Kennedy's presidential campaign, and after Kennedy was elected, Lowe became his personal photographer.

Lowe was a very meticulous photographer. He had an estimated 40,000 negatives of images of John F. Kennedy and his family, though only 300-400 photographs were made public. While he was alive, Lowe watchfully monitored the use of his pictures. When a publication or museum wanted prints, he personally took the negatives to the lab for printing. When the job was done, he retrieved them himself.

Lowe's daughter, Thomasina, said, "He was being more prudent than most. He really believed they were as safe as they could ever be,'' she said. "He chose to have them there because he was six blocks away from them and he felt psychologically [as if] they were under his bed.''

All 40,000 negatives were kept in a safe-deposit vault at the JP Morgan Chase bank branch at 5 World Trade Center, a nine-story building that was heavily damaged in the September 11 attacks. A team of engineers, a 100-ton crane, forklifts, ironworkers, and dump trucks were brought in as part of a plan to move the vault from the second floor. But workers found major fire damage in the vault area; ashes filled the safe-deposit boxes. The only thing that would have survived was metal or stone.

September 11 serves as an important reminder that earthly treasures are subject to moth, rust, thieves, and fire. The only lasting treasure we can store up is in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).

Preaching Today

Not Worth Much In Heaven

Knowing he would die soon, a rich man had all his assets converted into gold bars, put them in a big bag on his bed, draped his body over the bag of gold, and breathed his last. When he woke up, he was at the gate of heaven.

Saint Peter met him at the gate and with a concerned look on his face said, "Well, I see you actually managed to get here with something from earth! But unfortunately, you can’t bring that in."

"Oh please, sir," said the man. "I must have it. It means everything to me."

"Sorry, my friend," said Saint Peter. "If you want to keep that bag, then I’m afraid you’ll have to go to, you know, the other place. You don’t want to go there, believe me."

"Well, I won’t part with this bag."

"Have it your way," returned Peter. "But before you go, would you mind if I looked in the bag to see what it is that you’re willing to trade eternal life for?"

"Sure," said the man. "You’ll see. I could never part with this."

Saint Peter looked in the bag and with a puzzled look on his face said to the man, "You’re willing to go to hell for…pavement?"

What’s coming between you and God? Your money? Your possessions? Your status? Your friends? Your fun? You may be sure that none of it can compare with what God has prepared for you (1 Corinthians 2:9). "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?" (Matthew 16:26).

Still More Hot Illustration For Youth Talks
Wayne Rice, Zondervan, p. 23.